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Chinese Export Silver Box - Antique Circa 1890

An exceptional, fine and impressive antique Chinese Export Silver box; an addition to our oriental silver collection

SKU: A8349

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Chinese Export Silver Box - Antique Circa 1890
Chinese Export Silver Box - Antique Circa 1890


This exceptional antique Chinese Export Silver (CES) box has a rectangular form.

The surface of this silver box is embellished with chased panels depicting birds in their natural habitiats, including oriental blosson and bamboo stalks.

The box is fitted with a hinged cover embellished with a chased decorated scene of an array of rats marching towards a larger creature*.

The decoration to the cover incorporates a fretband style border to the upper plateau, in addition to a 'T' shaped chain band to the sides.

The underside of this small Chinese silver box is plain and unembellished.

This impressive silver box retains the original gilded interior.

The hallmark to the underside of this impressive box denotes the purity as 900 standard silver (900/1000); the piece does not feature an assay or maker's mark, therefore the date / origin can be determined by the composition and decoration.

* In China on the 3rd day of the New Year it is a ancient custom to be indulgent of rats and mice. The decoration to the box reflects the work of folk artists, portraying a merry wedding procession of rats or mice; with the creature at the end of the procession being a cat. The illustration and folk tale is often called "The Rats Are Marrying Off Their Daughter" (Hàozi Jià Nǚ 耗子嫁女 or Lǎoshǔ Jià Nǚ 老鼠嫁女) and an event which will have a small impact may dismissed as "the rats marrying off their daughter". Rats are traditionally associated with money and the it can be determined that the rat-parents are interested in a powerful son-in-law; when the sun and clouds are unavailable they turn to a tomcat, who promptly eats his bride.

View the full range of Asian silverware available at AC Silver

AC Silver
Origin: China


This antique Chinese box is a very good gauge of silver, excellent quality and in exceptional presentation condition.

The chased decoration is all very sharp.

The purity hallmarks struck to the underside of the box are all very clear.

Reflections in photographs may detract from the true representation of this small Chinese silver box.


Length 9.2cm/3.6"

Width 6.5cm/2.6"

Height 4.1cm/1.6"


5.1 troy ounces/159g

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Andrew Campbell started trading in antiques during the 1970s. Initially, Andrew lived in the South of England, travelling the country, searching for items of silver to buy. Andrew sold these items at various London markets and antique fairs. Over time, and through selling at a range of venues, Andrew built up a large and diverse customer base from private buyers to national and international trade customers.
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